How to critique your website to stay competitive in the new year

Jan 26, 2015

As we start the new year it is a good idea to go through your website, page by page and make note of anything that should be updated.  This includes items which may affect the design and/or the functionality of the site. We recommend that you do this at least once a year to stay competitive and to continue to receive a high traffic pattern.

Invest in a great statistics package:

Website StatisticsIf you do not have a statistics package already, it is high time to get one. Some servers offer FREE statistics such as  This is a hosting company that we refer often and everyone loves the FREE stats package. If you are already happy with your current hosting company, you could consider having Google Analytics installed in the backend of your website to keep track of how many visitors are coming your way and how many of those visitors are converting into solid leads.  The statistics program will also keep you current on hits versus files and will help you to understand where your leads are coming from. Knowing the difference between hits and files will give you an indication of how many actual repeat visitors you have had viewing your website. Here is the difference:

  • Hits:  This represents the number of requests made to the server during a given time period (month, day, hour, etc.)
  • Files:  Files represents the total number of hits (requests) that actually resulted in something sent to the user. Keep in mind that not all hits will send data.  An example would be a 404 – Not Found requests for pages already cached within the browser.

Make sure the site is responsive and mobile friendly for all devices

Every website should be responsive and able to adapt to all different screen dimensions, look good and function properly on all devices. If your site is not mobile friendly it should be re-designed to offer this capability immediately. To compete in the market place today, this is crucial. As we have mentioned before, over 80% of all end users are now using smaller devices to search for goods and services such as the i-phone, tablet, etc.

Home page content and imagery should have a true purpose

Other than making that great first impression, using a great image of the product or service offered, the main goal for the home page should be to encourage the visitor to move from the home page and onto the pages of the website quickly and efficiently, within seconds. This is done by providing, call to action elements. Higher performing home pages normally have a maximum of 300 words of content. This content quickly explains your company benefits and moves the visitor on to call to action elements such as a registration form, get info form, buy now button, etc.. This will lead them to make the purchase or to contact you for more information.
The less graphics and images you show off on the home page may benefit your site conversion rate. The site will not only load faster, your search engine rankings will improve as well. Image sliders and many changes may be clever and look great, but if no one stays on the site long enough to see them, what is the point.  Users are expecting a fast loading site and will not wait around for images to load and other graphics to work. Less is always best.  Keep the imagery, graphics and content to a minimum for best results.

It is all about a great web experience

Visitors are expecting the best when they click-through to your website.  They are not expecting to see clutter, a slow loading site, and bad overall design. It is your responsibility to keep the site updated with today’s smart technology and to make the site as user-friendly as possible. We have all been on bad websites and know the feeling. We quickly leave and look for a more pulled-together website which gives us a safe and comfortable viewing experience. Parting with our money is easier when we feel the site we are using is professional looking and therefore should offer a more reputable product or service.
Stay tuned for more next time.  Call us for a FREE website critique.  We look forward to hearing from you.
Jean Holland-Rose
Chief Creative Officer and SEO Professional


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